Thursday, July 12, 2007

BBC loves Nanny State

Today it is fat tax, yesterday it was "bored youfs commit crimes", the UK media, by and large reports both as being about problems that the government should fix. Nothing about individual responsibility at all.
The fat tax one is simple. Oxford researchers are claiming 3000 fatal heart attacks and strokes could be prevented if VAT was applied to high fat, high sugar and high salt foods (presumably this also means buying the raw ingredients even if you don't tuck into a block of sugar rolled butter ever). Blair rejected a fat tax three years ago as being "Nanny State" - amazing rush of sense. However, the BBC today jumped on this bandwagon and held interviews of those who supported the idea, and got no commentators who regarded it as ridiculous.
The basic problem is:
  1. People choose to eat unhealthy food (note that the European Commission subsidies a good deal of it, and healthy food too, but you daren't suggest that these are removed!). This is by and large because the British diet is a collection of fried, fatty, low taste, high energy, poor quality rubbish;
  2. They overindulge and get lifestyle related diseases;
  3. Their healthcare is taxpayer funded and there are no penalties or rewards for looking after yourself;
  4. Government worries about paying for it all.

People are either stupid or reckless when it comes to their health, and so the government can do nothing about this - except by tackling the problem of the NHS. Imagine if people DID pay a monthly amount to the NHS (or maybe it could be competitive) and that varied according to your blood pressure, smoking/drug habits, cholesterol and other factors that indicate objectively health risk factors. OH NO, the statists would cry - it would be SO unfair to make people who live unhealthy lifestyles PAY for the health care costs they create (and conversely reward those who present little risk). Apparently far fairer to make everyone who indulges in less healthy foods, occasional and regular eaters, pay more.

The second one was about "bored youff" (because they never existed before). The charity "4Children" said that young people get bored over the school holidays and it is EVERYONE's problem. It wants everyone to be forced to pay for government funded youth centres to fix this. The poor babies are bored. Apparently because they are bored this CAUSES them to commit crimes and be anti-social. Don't you remember being in your teens and thinking "I'm bored, I think I'll go mug someone, or burgle, or steal a car". That's right, the excuse for any teenagers committing crimes is because the government didn't make everyone else pay for a youth centre for them. 4Children also called for us all to be forced to pay for free public transport and "leisure" for under 18 year olds. Sure, let's make public transport less appealling for those who pay for it, but free leisure??

I have some suggestions:

  1. Young people today have a wide array of technology to entertain themselves. Use it. Play games, watch videos, listen to music, go online.
  2. Meet friends, socialise. Apparently young people "hanging out" is a problem, well by and large it isn't. Most don't hang out looking to mug you.
  3. Get a ball, use it. Look at what African kids do in villages with next to nothing. Why aren't they bored?
  4. When all is lost, go into your room and masturbate, or better yet, get a special friend to do that with. It doesn't spread disease or pregnancy, and it is even a form of exercise. If you don't understand what I mean, go online or see a doctor.
The BBC reported that ex loony leftwing MP Oona King said "Growing up can be tough and we are simply not doing enough to help the next generation to flourish," . Who's this "we"? My parents helped me, and both worked when I was in my mid teens - I didn't go round harassing people.
So the answer is twofold:
  1. Bored? Take responsibility for yourself. Use your brain, and that of your friends and enjoy this free leisure time. You will NEVER have so much free time in your life.
  2. Being obnoxious and criminal? Let the criminal justice system lock you up. Nobody needs you screwing up their lives and property just because you are a loser. If you're excuse for being violent to others is because you are bored, I am sure there are a nice group of people in prison who will keep you occupied or keep occupied with you.

The BIG picture lesson is - in Britain, the solution to so many problems is presented as "the government should do something". Yes it should, it should tell people to take responsibility and stop pandering to those who don't.


Hans Versluys said...

"their basic problem is:
3. Their healthcare is taxpayer funded and there are no penalties or rewards for looking after yourself;"

So how come America, the country with the best healthcare system in the world because it's largely privatised apart from the evil communist systems of Medicare and Medicaid, has massive obesity problems too as people have every incentive/penalty to look after themselves?

Anonymous said...

libertyscott said...

You're right, those comments are unacceptable, it is childish to play the person not the issue. Particularly bad to use violence analogies when anyone with half a brain knows you're sensitive to this.

I almost never agree with you politically, and frankly found your statement "Bosses are theiving parasite dogs, thieving and parasiting is how capitalism works" a vile expression of bigotry. It's plain wrong and has been used by certain political movements to justify the murders of thousands and millions of people.

However no political expression (except a direct call to inflict violence on anyone) justifies a joke to do violence to others."

Scotty....I am rather annoyed with you for this comment on Maias blog....I thought you were better than this.There was no threat of violence" by either myself nor Clint and its a poor reflection on you that you were sucked in to this pC bullshit .Ok the comment was ribald and many thousands of others have been and no one wet themselves over them to the extent of extrapolating that the poster was intent on rape.

You disappoint me...

Libertyscott said...

James, I have said that below in my post on this whole issue. I said I was wrong. I read it too quickly and had a kneejerk reaction, and I apologise. I need to say the same at Maia's blog.

Just my opinion said...

I had to chuckle that your 4th option was to go into your room and masturbate! Sounds like something suggested over at my blog recently. :-)

Anyway back to the point. I have to put up with the BBC going on and on about the Youth problem al the time. The problem is the Labour Govt has made it next to impossible to go play outside. The parks are there but in schools they don't encourage sporting behaviour anymore for PC or danger reasons. You can see that they are rubbish at sports as hardly anybody plays that much anymore. When I came home early this year all I could see by my house were hundreds of children out playing touch for a day. There is no such organisation like that here in London.

Just my opinion said...

Uroskin, did you watch Sicko recently? It sounds like you bought into it!

Anonymous said...

libertyscott said...

"James, I have said that below in my post on this whole issue. I said I was wrong. I read it too quickly and had a kneejerk reaction, and I apologise. I need to say the same at Maia's blog. "

Cool, read previous post now.....ta! ;-)